Coffee geeks are the captive audience at this seven-month-old café, says head barista Remy Shpayzer. They perch on stools near the tiny kitchen and sip pour-over filter coffees from all over the world, engaging in arcane discussions about brew temperature and technique.
At Little Wish, theres a single-origin coffee of the day and up to four beans suited to pour-over coffee. Theres a seasonal house espresso blend roasted by Carlton-based roaster Seven Seeds on offer too, poured through the slick three-group Synesso machine. Every coffee is delivered with polish and precision.
I had a flat white on my first visit and an elegant pour-over brew during a later visit each was excellent.
Little Wish, a sister café to Eclipse in Flinders Lane, is owned by Joseph Haddad of Cafenatics. He took it over from some friends who ran the café for a couple of years, keeping its name as a mark of respect, says Shpayzer.
Haddad now has 11 cafés in the CBD, many of them in this pocket of the city. Next to arrive will be Little Bean Blue, opening soon in the Paris end of town.
When Archie Chiu arrived in Adelaide on holiday from Taiwan 3½ years ago, quit his electrical engineering studies and decided to stay, he set himself three goals: find a new career; learn English; and write a novel. He hasnt ticked the novel off yet, but Chiu can deliver colloquialisms and a joke or two and has mapped a career as a barista. He learnt to make coffee in Adelaide and I thought I was pretty cool because I could make a shitty rosetta he says. I came to Melbourne and I was working in a café in Brunswick. Then I went into Brother Baba Budan and ordered a cappuccino. It changed my life. He sent his resume to the top 10 cafés in Melbourne, waited and door-knocked. Eventually he found his way to the Cafenatics chain and works as a barista at Little Wish, and sister café Eclipse. Chiu is completing a two-year hospitality management course and plans to compete in the next Taiwan barista championships, with a view to the world titles.
Rear of 530 Little Collins Street, city
Phone 9621 1013
Barista Archie Chiu
Coffee Seven Seeds, guest roasters
Baristas choice Caffe latte
Open Monday to Friday 6.30am-5pm
In summer, the blinds are rolled up and the dozen or so timber stools are spread out into the laneway at this relaxed city nook. In winter, the small space is enveloped by plastic café blinds and warmed by a portable heater.
Basic black fittings and grey slate tiles are enlivened by pale timber stools and the constant stream of city workers who have discovered this coffee haven. Theres a tiny kitchen, a bench on wheels and a chalkboard coffee menu that attracts plenty of attention.